Despite her best efforts, Alex dropped right on top of the dead man. The body squelched beneath her, and the air went muddy with the scent of spoiled meat. His blank eyes stare into hers, the windows to his soul looking into a bare, unfurnished room.
She controlled an urge to scream – barely. Her stomach heaved, and she scrambled off the bed. The ripe odor of death hung about her. Alex held her breath as she hurried to the door. There she paused, willing her galloping heartbeat to slow to a trot. Panic edged back but kept a hungry eye on her.
Alex pulled the vial of holy water from her coat pocket and unstoppered it. With a shuddering breath she cracked the door open.
A powerful thrum slammed through her body. The force made her stumble backwards. Demon recognition hit her with the force of a tidal wave. She tried to scream, but only a whistling hiss of breath escaped.
Alex staggered in a drunken pirouette to the middle of the room. One hand outstretched to ward off the demonic presence. The other pulled back the holy water as if she readied to throw the first pitch of a baseball game.
Alone and small, Alex had indeed blundered into the lair of the Beast. A moaned litany escaped her lips. “I can’t. I can’t. I can’t...”
Staring at the dark hallway beyond the open door, she wept the tears of a terrified child. Who was she to confront such a monster? Lilith would surely annihilate her within seconds. With all that power, she couldn’t be stopped, couldn’t even be slowed. Lilith would destroy them all. Such malevolence would crush everything in its path. Alex’s puny arsenal of prayers and spells would be like pebbles thrown at a tank. Incantations would be no more to the ancient demoness than nursery rhymes.